Seemingly modeled on John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee (for the real thing, see below), Halleran's debut-hero is ex-football star Cam MacCardle, now a budding private-eye. And his first case appears when Cam, living in half-hearted Southern Florida retirement, gets an S.O.S. from his old friend and Vietnam buddy Reverend Gerald ""Billy"" Graham: Graham wants to find the murderer of Laura Morgan, one of his flock. The supposed top suspect? Laura's nebbishy husband Ralph. But even Lieutenant Hampton of the local police can't quite believe that Ralph is guilty. So Cam uncovers lots of unsavory background on quiet Laura-from abortion to porn to blackmail, most of it coming to light during a fast visit to New York. And the big break comes in a voice-from-the-grave windup--one of those contrived fadeouts that leaves at least one big question unanswered. Still, though Cam lacks Travis McGee's charisma, he's a hero with possibilities; and Halleran's breezily competent style, with well-clone backgrounds, suggests that better cases might lie ahead.